Hagi, a beautiful former castle town in Yamaguchi Prefecture is renowned for its local pottery called Hagi-yaki and a large number of merchant and samurai houses open to the public . It is also known as the birthday place of Yoshida Shoin, a distinguished educator whose students contributed to the Meiji Restoration. Twusano is serene mountains town in Shimane Prefecture, drawing tourists to its castle ruins and colorful Japanese carps as well as samurai residences along the streets.